According to the last official census, 51% of Britain’s population are women and the process of bodily changes known as the Menopause will happen to every single one of them.
In previous generations, it was not discussed even between female friends, to men of previous generations it was terrifying or a source of jokes. But it’s no laughing matter, experiences of the menopause vary dramatically and some women become suicidal and anxious. There is no replacement for proper medical support however it is possible to use complimentary therapies to help you survive the process.
Women were often embarrassed to admit they were going through “The Change” in the past. Even in today’s progressive society – women are reluctant to talk about it, in a society that prizes youthfulness it is hard to admit you may have reached ‘ a certain age’, it makes you old, past it, and yes still the butt of jokes. For some women, the menopause makes for a very anxious time and it’s about time it was discussed as it’s a life changing experience.
We know it is inevitable, so let’s be armed with information and be prepared. We shouldn’t suffer in silence . If you haven’t yet seen the great Channel 4 documentary by Davina McCall about the menopause, it’s well worth a watch by the way. There is medical help out there both NHS and private, HRT is available and although still carrying the bad reputation after a study 20 years ago which linked HRT to increased breast cancer risk and blood clots, it’s now more obvious with more modern research and looking at the fails in the original study that HRT is not the risk we all think it is. However whether you decide to try a natural route or a medical one, holistic therapies can help support you on your journey. Reflexology is one of those therapies that has produced great results.
Menopause technically is a point in time 12 months after a woman’s last period. The years leading up to that point, when women may experience symptoms, is called perimenopause.
Perimenopause most often begins between ages 45 and 55 but can occur naturally from your teens through your twenties ( early menopause). You can still have regular periods and suffer from many of the symptoms associated with menopause, often people don’t realise this is the cause. Menopause may be triggered overnight by a hysterectomy or surgical removal of the ovaries.
It can last between 7 and 14 years. During the transition, the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone hormones varies greatly. As a result bones become less dense, hair can become thinner and the body begins to use energy differently, fat cells change, and women may gain weight more easily.
Night sweats, hot flushes, aches and pains, sexual problems such as vaginal dryness and loss of libido, psychological problems – anxiety, low mood, brain fog, short term memory loss, short term focus, poor concentration are all menopausal symptoms experienced by many.
How can reflexology help the menopause?
As a holistic therapist, I look at the “whole” person. It is not simply offering a reflexology treatment, I take into account the client’s lifestyle, home life, diet, where they work, what they do, how they sleep, how they relax, stress levels, energy levels and more. For all of my holistic therapies the process is the same, I then discuss a treatment approach to suit each individual client. Reflexology can help with many of the symptoms of menopause ( and peri menopause ) and can be combined with other treatments to balance mental, emotional and physical issues too. Regular treatments can really help to survive the worst of it! As reflexologists we are trained to work the systems of the body that are playing a major part in the process, to bring about balance and hopefully a reduction in symptoms. Remembering each woman is different, lifestyles and stress play a huge role in the overall experience of menopause, outcomes are never guaranteed but some improvement in overall wellbeing is always a result. I also offer advice for stress reduction, anxiety and much more, it truly is a holistic process.
In addition to helping with menopausal symptoms, reflexology is an incredibly relaxing treatment and allows you to have an hour to yourself, to de-stress, to relax and in most cases, have a little snooze so give it a go!
Please note, holistic therapies are never a replacement for medical treatment, they compliment it and support it, should you have any issues you should always visit your GP for professional medical advice.